Boeing plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, an innovator, developer and manufacturer of advanced aerospace platforms under an agreement signed by the companies. Aurora specializes in autonomous systems technologies to enable advanced robotic aircraft for future aerospace applications and vehicles.
“The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems,” said Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology, in a press release on October 5. “Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies.”
Leveraging autonomous systems that include perception, machine learning, and advanced flight control systems, Aurora has designed, produced and flown more than 30 unmanned air vehicles since the company was founded in 1989. Aurora is a leader in the emerging field of electric propulsion for aircraft. During the last decade, Aurora has collaborated with Boeing on the rapid prototyping of innovative aircraft and structural assemblies for both military and commercial applications.
“Since its inception, Aurora has been focused on the development of innovative aircraft that leverage autonomy to make aircraft smarter,” said John Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences founder and chief executive officer. “As an integral part of Boeing, our pioneered technologies of long-endurance aircraft, robotic co-pilots, and autonomous electric VTOLs will be transitioned into world-class products for the global infrastructure.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Aurora Flight Sciences and Steptoe & Johnson acted as legal advisor. This transaction, anticipated to close following receipt of customary regulatory approvals, does not affect Boeing’s financial guidance. Once acquired, Aurora will be a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering Test & Technology known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. It will retain an independent operating model while benefiting from Boeing’s resources and position as a leading provider of aerospace products and services, according to the companies.
Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Aurora Flight Sciences has more than 550 employees and operates in six states in the U.S. including a research and development center located near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Columbus, Mississippi with offices in Dayton, Ohio, Mountain View, California and Luzern, Switzerland.